Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?
Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.
A, B & C own a half, a third and a sixth of a coin collection. Each grab some coins, return some, then share equally what they had put back, finishing with their own share. How rich are they?
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
The problem is how did Archimedes calculate the lengths of the sides of the polygons which needed him to be able to calculate square roots?
Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are the three numbers Jo had to start with?”
Find all the ways of placing the numbers 1 to 9 on a W shape, with 3 numbers on each leg, so that each set of 3 numbers has the same total.
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter (p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship between p, i and the area of the polygons.
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle ABCD. A circle passing through points ABCD carves out four crescent-shaped regions. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to. . . .
If the sides of the triangle in the diagram are 3, 4 and 5, what is the area of the shaded square?
Two semi-circles (each of radius 1/2) touch each other, and a semi-circle of radius 1 touches both of them. Find the radius of the circle which touches all three semi-circles.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
If you take two tests and get a marks out of a maximum b in the first and c marks out of d in the second, does the mediant (a+c)/(b+d)lie between the results for the two tests separately.
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?
A hallway floor is tiled and each tile is one foot square. Given that the number of tiles around the perimeter is EXACTLY half the total number of tiles, find the possible dimensions of the hallway.
Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
How good are you at finding the formula for a number pattern ?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...
Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =
Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return, 400. . . .
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?
Attach weights of 1, 2, 4, and 8 units to the four attachment points on the bar. Move the bar from side to side until you find a balance point. Is it possible to predict that position?
Use algebra to reason why 16 and 32 are impossible to create as the sum of consecutive numbers.
How to build your own magic squares.
My train left London between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. and arrived in Paris between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. At the start and end of the journey the hands on my watch were in exactly the same positions but the. . . .
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
Take a few whole numbers away from a triangle number. If you know the mean of the remaining numbers can you find the triangle number and which numbers were removed?
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
A moveable screen slides along a mirrored corridor towards a centrally placed light source. A ray of light from that source is directed towards a wall of the corridor, which it strikes at 45 degrees. . . .
Crosses can be drawn on number grids of various sizes. What do you notice when you add opposite ends?
Think of a number... follow the machine's instructions. I know what your number is! Can you explain how I know?
Think of a number and follow my instructions. Tell me your answer, and I'll tell you what you started with! Can you explain how I know?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?